September 30, 2023
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90 Days by W. Michael
Book Reviews Mystery Thriller

90 Days by W. Michael Hewitt A countdown to nuclear destruction

Author: W. Michael Hewitt

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Worth to read”

Estelle Openwaters, better known as Essie, has a stellar track record in evading assassination attempts, putting her Ph.D. to good use in closing nuclear crime cases, and most importantly, foiling the cataclysmal plans of psychopath billionaire, Tyrone Rettig.

After seeking refuge in Venezuela, the criminal mastermind is back in the picture, vowing to take revenge on the young, Native American, freshly appointed federal agent responsible for crippling his illegal enterprise and his dramatic fall from grace. However, following separate run-ins with other unsavory persons, Essie must contend with an endless barrage of assaults; each one more insurmountable than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the odds are not in her favor this time. One question lingers on hers and everybody else’s minds: Will the multiple forces working overtime to discredit and or eliminate Essie prevail in the end?

Spoiler-free Plot

With her shiny new credentials set into her bifold wallet, the first task Essie—Agent Openwaters—is assigned to is a presumably innocuous investigation into Plutonium down blending operations at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The investigation is spurred on by a suspicious offer from a mysterious man, self-reported by one of the site’s personnel; an employee with a blemish-free code of ethics. What Essie happens upon has deadly nemesis Tyrone Rettig’s fingerprints all over it.

Essie’s investigation takes a left turn when her reputation suffers hits from every possible angle. Corruption blurs the lines of professionalism in the FBI team Essie is soon ousted from. Somebody, or several somebodies, want to hinder her progress; the unmendable damage is done to her professional career and likely prison time to add to the package serves as a bonus to these same people. Comeuppance for all the grief Essie has caused them in the time they’ve had the misfortune of being acquainted.

On a night out planned in a bid to revive her stale love life, Essie does what she does best by rescuing a helpless damsel from the clutches of Hispanic gang members with violent intentions. As the saying goes: no good deed goes unpunished. While desperately trying to clear her name and recover the 16 kilograms of stolen Plutonium simultaneously, paranoia seeps into her life as she’s stalked by several parties at once.

Essie’s life hangs on a teetering balance. This time, the consequences of tipping towards the wrong side of the scale are direr than they’ve ever been before.

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My Take on 90 Days

What immediately struck me as I read the first chapter of this book was the outpouring of attention paid to the finer details of this story. This cannot be mentioned without including how Mr. Hewitt’s expertise in the overlying topic the plot revolves around—chemical and nuclear engineering—shines through from start to finish. Mr. Hewitt took a relatively obscure topic I’d imagine very few people stop to consider at any point in their lifetime, one near and dear to him, and formulated a story individuals from a variety of different demographics could enjoy.

Being the curious little fact-checker that I am, I actively sought out the names of locations, translations of legal jargon into layman’s language, and explanations of complex, scientific procedures mentioned throughout and plugged them into my search engine. I was floored by the author’s pinpoint accuracy with all three aforementioned points. He managed to pull off, single-handedly, what authors with access to extensive research networks are capable of which is impressive in and of itself. Other writers would’ve taken creative liberties to patch up the leaks in their stories but W. Michael Hewitt does not belong to this group. Knowing that the places visited by the characters truly do exist, the plausibility of the fictional events occurring in real life, and the parcels of history slotted into the story are extracts of true happenings all add to the immersive experience this action-packed tale takes you on.

Just like the witch in the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, Mr. Hewitt lures us deeper into his techno-thriller series through enticement. In the development of his protagonist, Essie’s background, we uncover some contextual truths behind her character and motivations in life. Amid these truths, single sentences drop revelations that aren’t expounded on further. This is a very intentional choice made by the author. We, the readers, are made to follow a trail of breadcrumbs—the breadcrumbs being tiny morsels of information about Essie’s past—leading us straight into future installments of the “Essie Openwaters Mystery Thriller” series. With a firm, foundational relationship built between the readers and Essie along with her supporting characters, Mr. Hewitt strings together a loyal fanbase who will continue to grow alongside the characters he has diligently crafted.

Do not be discouraged by the numerous characters rolling in and out of almost every chapter. They are often linked to their premier action to remind you of their purpose in driving the plot forward. Do not allow this to deter you; pushing past this intimidating factor is well worth the effort for lovers of science, technology, and thriller-based fiction.

Content Warning

Foul language and sexual content. Mentions of child pornography, misogyny, racism, rape, and sexual violence. Explicit sexual assault and violence are also included.

Age Rating

Adults only 18+

About The Author Of 90 Days

W. Michael Hewitt

W. Michael Hewitt writes techno thrillers that draw up his decades of experience managing corporations and assisting government agencies with the responsible management of nuclear materials. He holds degrees in chemical, nuclear, and mechanical engineering.
Now retired and living in sunny Arizona, he plays golf, writes fiction, and travels extensively to fascinating places worldwide. The experience gained while working provides a treasure trove of information that he now weaves into techno thriller fiction. His goal is to enthrall readers with people, circumstances, and settings that most readers will never be exposed to but provide food for good reads that will hopefully capture their interests.

1 Comment

  • Lux March 14, 2023

    Oh, I love it when the details in the book I’m reading are on point. I also tend to research names, locations, and words I’m not familiar with while reading a book. Sounds like a well-written story though I’m not sure I’m ready for the violence. Lol! I’ve got to gather courage first before reading or else suffer from another emotional damage after reading the book.

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